Opinion: Trump is a weak man, and his problem is he knows it

lewis-beaten-1000x665

(AP)

Taking Jesus of Nazareth and Mohandas Gandhi as his models, Martin Luther King Jr. understood the moral authority that is earned by the willingness to suffer for your cause without retaliation, to take your beating and jail time and then get up the next morning and have the courage to do it again, to risk your life again.

King also understood that his strategy was made more effective by the disproportionate response that it usually provoked from those in authority. Peaceful marchers for the right to vote, for example, were often met with police dogs and firehoses unleashed by those who felt that the legitimacy of their power was under attack. And by that overreaction, they weakened themselves and showed who they really are.

John Lewis, who was one of King’s lieutenants, has not forgotten those lessons. On Friday, the Atlanta congressman announced that he would boycott the inauguration of Donald Trump as president because, he said, he did not view Trump’s election as legitimate after revelations of intervention by Russia.

Ordinarily, that would be a story with a media life-cycle of a few hours. But as sure as night follows day, Trump responded disproportionately:

As those tweets indicate, Trump is at heart a little man. He knows it, and his greatest fear is that others must see it too. Ask yourself: Have you known anyone in your adult life who whines more than Trump does, who yelps like a kicked dog at every perceived slight? Anyone at all? I have not. Maybe your life experience has been different, but mine tells me that is not the behavior of someone who is confident in his own skin. As the old saying goes, Trump can dish it out but he sure can’t take it, and there’s no better evidence of his deep sense of inadequacy than his own Twitter feed.

As it happens, I live in the Fifth Congressional District, which Lewis represents. I’ve made my home here for more than a quarter century and raised my family here, and I do not recognize the picture that Trump draws of this place. Nonetheless, it tells you a lot. Lewis is a black congressman from a southern city, so in Trump’s mind it follows that his district must be burning and crime-infested, in horrible shape and falling apart. That’s the cartoonish level of sophistication that he brings to his presidency. The idea that Lewis’s district is actually the economic engine of the South, with more than 40 percent of its population possessing college degrees and the landscape dotted with construction cranes, is beyond Trump’s comprehension because it contradicts the racist stereotypes by which he lives.

Lewis’s boycott has drawn some odd responses from other Republicans as well. For some reason, Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter felt inspired to call Lewis “a racist pig” in a Facebook rant, and Trump’s White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, went on national television to call it “shocking” and “insanity” and “incredibly disappointing” for Lewis to question Trump’s legitimacy as president. He even called upon President Obama to intervene with Lewis and his fellow Democrats, to “step up and get his people in line” in defense of our democracy.

I keep thinking I can’t be amazed by this stuff any longer, that I can’t still be startled by the ability of people such as Priebus to utter such garbage with a straight face. I keep being wrong.

Remember this, Priebus?

trump1How about this?

trump2Or this?

 

trump3

Trump built his political credibility among the Republican base by directly, repeatedly and strongly attacking Barack Obama’s legitimacy not just as president but as a citizen of this country. He became his  party’s nominee because he was willing to go full crazy, to say the things that standard Republicans would only hint at in public. And with very rare exceptions, leading Republicans did not step forward to defend Obama’s legitimacy.

Priebus was not one of those exceptions.  When asked about it directly back in 2011, the then-chairman of the GOP said that Trump and other candidates “can talk about it all they want” as far as he is concerned. That’s the kind of courage that he showed at the moment that it mattered. All talk, no action.

 

Reader Comments 0

2177 comments
Scott Pike
Scott Pike

More Us vs Them Trash. I hope your bitterness does not give you a heart attack Jay. Love and Blessing you poor bitter man.

GlennWall
GlennWall

I’ve made my home here for more than a quarter century and raised my family here, and I do not recognize the picture that Trump draws of this place."   Of course you don't.  You live safe and sound in your  90% white subdivision and throw stones over the wall at the rest of us. Hypocrite.

Re Al A T
Re Al A T

trump is not a man so stop calling him a human life form. this fool represents all that is ugly and evil in civilization. he is an ignorant and pompous slithering slime that only represents himself and cares nothing about others. he is cut from the same cloth as nixon, stalin, hitler and putin. he will destroy "democrazy" and rob the american people of their freedoms and rights.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Saw a report on CNBC that says Social Security will be roughly $11 trillion short of funds needed to pay retirement benefits over the next 10 years. I wonder if congress is ready to pay back that $7.886 Trillion IOU they owe(or stole from) the Social security Trust Fund?

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

The Church of Scientology has allegedly hacked into an e-mail database of Trump supporters. Might as well got to the proven source if you are looking to recruit the most malleable minds for your cult.

Kamchak
Kamchak

I'm kinda surprised that such a big name star as Azealia Banks isn't performing at Trump's inauguration.

After all, she threw her support behind Trump....

rimsky
rimsky

 We can no longer afford capitalism.

Like I said before we are not strictly capitalist.  There is a lot of socialism mixed with it (which the GOP) is trying to gut.  I like to see a little more socialism creeping in so the 1% cannot royally screw us.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@rimsky 

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think you can stop the 1% royally screwing us without stopping capitalism, which is the very system they use for the screwing.

rimsky
rimsky

@Donnie_Pinko @rimsky I keep hoping we trend towards some of the progressive European nations.  But that will never happen specially when the 1% owns the power in DC.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@gotalife @rimsky @Donnie_Pinko The 1% has not done too shabbily after 8 years under the Obama administration. The Rich at the top get richer , the poor at the bottom stay poor, and the ever shrinking middle pays the bill for all of it.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@rimsky @Donnie_Pinko The reps in DC are either in the 1% now or will be as soon as they pick their own special interest group to peddle their influence to.

dbm1
dbm1

@rimsky 

It is the socialism (or statism, if you prefer) part that is causing the problems.  People keep trying to use socialism/statism to cure problems caused by socialism/statism.  This has been going on since before the Civil War.

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

Two of Despicable Donnie's favorite words that will never be used to describe him: Over and rated. It is impossible to have a higher opinion of Donnie Boy than is deserved.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"his worshipers only want to be entertained. They think that reality is actually reality television. Someone needs to actually tell them that when they are dying for lack of insurance, that they are really dying."


@GADem


The Chump* Show is an experiment gone AWRY!

ByteMe
ByteMe

 As you'd expect, the electorate remains highly divided in the days just after a presidential election and then has a rally on effect as the national pageantry of the change of power accelerates. The opposite is happening with Trump.

We now have two good apples to apples approval measures for Trump's transition.

Gallup tested Trump approval in the second week of December and got 48%-48%. In early January the number had fallen to 44% approve, 51% disapprove.

Today's CNN poll has another before and after. In mid-November 46% approved and 45% disapproved, against basically tied. In the poll just out today it's 40% approve, 52% disapprove.


It's like hoping the football game goes into the fifth quarter.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Trump of course claims the polls are "rigged".  I guess Russia didn't hack them.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@rimsky According to TD, if it isn't in the National Enquirer, it must not be true.

Not the most discerning fact-gatherer.

gadem
gadem

@ByteMe @rimsky Men In Black called the National Enquirer the hot sheets. Maybe they think....I am sorry. I said think.

gotalife
gotalife

The problem with capitalism is greed. The balance is way off like Hillary said. It is a global problem .

rimsky
rimsky

@gotalife You bet it is out of whack.  When handful of people control most of the wealth we have a problem.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

trump's problem (and ours) is that EVERYONE knows he is a little man.

honested
honested

With an ever growing number of Congresspeople boycotting the inaugural (and of course their wives, kids and staff) will chump open up seats for hordes of deplorables?

TBS
TBS

@honested 

He might let in those bikers we have been told are going to form a wall between the protestors and law enforcement. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@honested They are apparently advertising tickets on Facebook

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested Lots of open green space on the Mall on Friday.... not "great" for the street vendors.

TBS
TBS

@skydog12 @TBS @honested 

Was the Nuge busy?  I don't know any tunes from Big and Rich but Wango Tango might at least get the folks doing the two right foot clod hop reminiscent of what we see on the blog.

And we know Trump would get down to Cat Scratch Fever.

TBS
TBS

@ByteMe @honested 

The open green space will be marketed, via Twitter of course, as Trump's first step to improve the environment and combat climate change.  

skydog12
skydog12

@TBS @skydog12 @honested


Ted may too crazy for even these people.

My sons drum teacher has a Gold Record for Cat Scratch Fever.

He says Ted is a real A hole

ByteMe
ByteMe

@TBS He's claiming a lightly attended inauguration is exactly what he wanted... to make America great again or something, I really had trouble listening over my laughter.

TBS
TBS

@ByteMe @TBS 

That's too funny.  Had not read about or heard that. 

gotalife
gotalife

Polls show Trump with historically low approval ratings

Majorities of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and also disapprove of the way in which Trump has built his incoming administration.